The National Government has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with 24 Counties for development of at least 2,000 housing units in each county.
Five Counties have already identified land for comprehensive planning and project implementation.
Speaking during the closing of a two day staff workshop organized by the Housing, Urban Development and Public Works Ministry, Housing Administration Secretary, Florence Amoit said engagements with the remaining Counties are ongoing to ensure all counties are on board.
Amoit who was representing Principal Secretary (PS), Charles Hinga added that the project shall be delivered in phases starting off with some flagship projects after which it will be scaled up towards delivery of the 500,000 houses across all the counties.
“We will engage all stakeholders in the process and County governments should provide land for the construction of these projects and also use media to inform the public of the Affordable Housing Project programme” Amoit said.
The Housing Secretary, Patrick Bucha said the AHP project that targets Kenyans in the low income brackets and who have been previously excluded from owning decent homes due to prohibitive costs will also include retired civil servants.
“Through this project, we hope to restore the decency of the beneficiaries, some of who are living in harsh conditions,” said Bucha, adding that it was a concern that some civil servants ended up living in poor conditions after retirement because of relying only on government pensions.
According to the Housing department over 74 percent of employees in the country earn less than Sh.50,000 per month and thus can only pay a maximum of Sh. 20,000 for housing per month against an average price of mortgage housing delivered by private sector at Sh. 9.1 million.
This has led to a situation where the low and lower middle income populations have been deprived of decent housing, resulting in the expansion of slums and informal settlements.
The affordable housing scheme will include Social Housing to cater for those earning up to Sh.19, 999 per month while the Low Cost Housing will cater for people earning between Sh.20,000 to Sh.49,999 per month.
Mortgage Gap Housing will cater for those earning between Sh.50, 000 to Sh.149, 999 per month while Middle to high income housing will cater for those whose monthly income is Sh150, 000 and above.
The two day staff workshop sought to provide sensitization in terms of the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) as stipulated in the President’s Big 4 Agenda besides highlighting the benefits of the programme to allow internal stakeholders to engage actively.
It also aimed at collecting feedback regarding the AHP programme from the public.
Also in attendance were retired civil servants mainly from Housing and Urban development Ministry.
By Samuel Kitavi